2017 Weingut Georg Breuer, Riesling, Rauentaller Nonnenberg “Monopol” Rheingau Germany.
This 2017 Rauenthaller Nonnenberg, that was sourced from Breuer’s all organic monopole vineyard site, was fermented with native yeasts and traditionally aged in old wood, is one of the winery’s top dry bottlings and one of my favorite Rheingau Rieslings, with this vintage showing a wonderfully concentrated and balanced drier palate, highlighting the ripe, almost plush nature of the vintage in the region. While I love the Breuer Rudesheimer Berg, slate driven, offerings, especially the Roseneck and the mighty Schlossberg, this Rauenthaller Nonnenberg Monopol is iconic and uniquely distinct in their lineup of dry Rieslings with its textural depth and earthy complexity, making it one of the great wines of the region. This 2017 has really come together nicely, getting much better after a few years in the bottle showing an array of citrus and orchard fruits with layers of tangerine, yellow peach, apricot, apple and tropical fruits along with dried honey, an earthy stony and mineral core, as well as having an inner energy, zesty but smooth acidity and fine floral aromatics. I am always impressed with the transparency and rustic charms in these Breuer wines and I have really loved my visits to their tasting room in downtown Rudesheim, both times, back in 2009 and more recently in 2016, when I got to taste through a great selection of their wines, including a few older vintages of this Nonnenberg. This vintage is nicely expressive, lightly spicy and deep, giving a generous mouth feel and lingering saline quality, making it great with classic pairings and with just enough residual sugar to stand up to a little heat, great with Asian cuisine and or poultry dishes.

The Weingut Georg Breuer, now run by Theresa Breuer, was one of the key members of Charta, an organization founded before the VDP started their Dry classifications, formed to promote a drier style of Rheingau wine and were proponents and leaders of this style of wine to great effect in the region. Theresa’s late father, Bernard, believed that the Rheingau was perfectly suited to producing very fine, elegant and flavorful dry Rieslings, and he has been proven right, especially in recent years and by his talented daughter. Bernard, as mentioned in my prior reviews, was also a strong advocate for a vineyard classification system based on geology, historical precedent, and the quality of wines, he also is credited with discovering the potential of the Rauenthal zone, which has become one of the top crus in the Rheingau and in particular the incredible Nonnenberg Monopole site. Theresa Breuer, the director of Weingut Georg Breuer, has taken a more natural approach to her wines and has gone holistic in her farming of her estate vines looking for physiological and aroma ripeness, which she feels are more important than must weight numbers and the grapes are only picked when Theresa and her team feel the fruit is perfect, giving the wines a sense of delicacy, earthy transparency and elegance, rather than power or overtness. This Nonnenberg Monopole, a unique geological area is a South facing site, with deep Phyllite soils with a covering of gravel deposits, always has a lovely perfume of white flowers and a parade of citrus and stone fruits that leans on the yellow spectrum of flavors, as this 2017 shows perfectly. While waiting for the Covid pandemic to subside, I’m dreaming of returning to Germany and getting back to Rhein wine growing area, with this wine transporting me back there.
($60 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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